Social media

Authors, You Need A Blog!

On Sundays, I carve out a few hours to focus on the work-related items that continuously inhabit the bottom rows of my to-do list. These items play a role within my overall marketing plan, but are not time sensitive. Most of the tasks fall into the “fun” category, which, for me, almost always involves outreach and communication. This week, I chose to visit the websites and blogs of my Twitter community members. Easily, 75% of these tweeps are directly related to publishing, whether self-published, indie authors, or providers of one of the many professional services in the world of books. Why was I taking the time to visit these blogs? What was I looking for? Tweetable information. Your tweetable information. HELP ME HELP YOU If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I regularly share link...

Good-bye, Facebook. I’m Hitting The Road!

I’ve pinned down what it is that bothers me most about Facebook, and it’s this: the lack of context. As a novelist, I work to build a reader’s interest one layer at a time, using a combination of actions (story) and context (backstory). Indeed, context frames every event and every character that finds its way onto an author’s page. It can be slow going, building that framework, but I think of the process as being along the same lines as building friendships. Most often, a friendship naturally evolves over time as knowledge is gained about one another through shared new adventures, or through the retelling of past ones. Is it all that different, coming to know a fictional character as one might a friend? I think of a novel series as being the equivalent of a television series, a way o...

Blog Posts: How Old is Too Old?

After an unexpected project, one that took nearly nine months to bring to completion, I am back to doing what I love: writing, blogging, and building. A painfully large backlog of blog posts, book plots, and marketing ideas are raining down on my brain like meteorites from an explosion on Planet Creative. I’m racing to catch all these twinkling ideas before they disappear into orbit. It’s fun. And maybe a little frustrating. Right now, I’m still in sorting mode, trying to figure out if any of these nibbles, lines, pages, and half-chapters belong with existing writing projects, or if they will result in a surge of newly-published titles in the future. In the second half of this year, I’ll be publishing a number of new books, lots of community news and postings on IndieBookWeek.com, and even...

TLC, Twitter, and (Very) Smart Marketing

Back in October, on the season premiere night of Long Island Medium, TLC decided to try a new marketing strategy, one involving Twitter.  A few days before the big event, I happened to catch the promos, and they advertised two things: –          a live commentary from Theresa Caputo during the premiere’s commercial breaks (it’s her show) –          a chance to win free readings from Theresa through a live Twitter contest being held during the show’s premiere. Thanks to the magic of DVR, I zip through a lot of the television programs I’ve recorded while logging miles on my treadmill, usually in the mornings. But for a real-time Twitter contest happening on national television, I was about to make an exception. Twitter is my darling. I am always keen on learning about new ways to...

Writing: The Importance of Word Choice in Translation

For those of you who are fans of Star Trek (or, like me, grew up with a brother who loved all things science fiction), have you ever fantasized about having communication tools like the ones Captain Kirk and his crew had? I have, and I find myself doing it all the more lately. Why? Social media. Daily, the Internet provides readers and writers with the opportunity to connect with new people involved in the book world, and to interact with speakers of many different languages. While I firmly believe that diversity of people, in every possible way, is one of the two greatest strengths the human race collectively possesses (the other is love), I do find diversity challenging when it comes to language. This is not because I can’t learn to speak another language; I can and do. The reason is bec...

A Writer’s Joy: Meeting a New Fan

Even as an adult I sometimes feel as if I am back in high school. Usually, this is a good feeling (I loved high school), if a little bit bizarre, considering that I’ve long since left my school days behind and moved into the working world. But, as I’ve come to understand, life is a series of overlapping cycles, of beginnings and endings, and what’s old is often new again. For example, deciding to write professionally, choosing Novelist as my new career category, was a decision that came upon me slowly. I loved my adventures in the business world and had planned a long and healthy future turning simple ideas into tangible products and services. As I suspect most of us have experienced, even the most carefully plotted plans have a tendency to be uprooted when stormy weather sets in. For me, ...

Klout, Kred, and Social Media Scoring

When I first learned about Klout, I thought the idea of providing a scoring system for social media users was smart. I still do. While I don’t regularly check my score, I have found the information useful as a general road map for reinforcing weak areas in my social media communications. The highest score I am aware of receiving on Klout is a 57, which occurred late last spring. Over the summer, the score went up and down like a rollercoaster before settling in at a relatively steady 48. Based on articles I’ve read, it seems Klout dedicated a fair portion of those same months to revamping their scoring methodology. In my case, the results of those rolling upgrades were not always helpful. Still, having an index of this nature available to me, and for free, has been beneficial for fine-tuni...

Klout, Kred, and Social Media Scoring

When I first learned about Klout, I thought the idea of providing a scoring system for social media users was smart. I still do. While I don’t regularly check my score, I have found the information useful as a general road map for reinforcing weak areas in my social media communications. The highest score I am aware of receiving on Klout is a 57, which occurred late last spring. Over the summer, the score went up and down like a rollercoaster before settling in at a relatively steady 48. Based on articles I’ve read, it seems Klout dedicated a fair portion of those same months to revamping their scoring methodology. In my case, the results of those rolling upgrades were not always helpful. Still, having an index of this nature available to me, and for free, has been beneficial for fine-tuni...

Twitter, My Darling

A year ago, I knew nothing about you, Twitter. And now you are the darling of my social media world. At first I was a little scared of you. Your reputation is one of unpredictable power, and I was worried, quite reasonably, that I would be lost in your endless seas. And then there are those hash tags – your courtiers – proving to us, time and again, the reach of your reign. “The other kids are doing it” is a phrase that has never worked with me, and I resisted learning anything about for you for a long, long time. Finally, the Godfather talked me through my fears and I gathered the courage to set my first footfall in your kingdom. A handful of steps later, it was love. A business extraction of the emotion, naturally, but when a person enjoys his or her work, I do believe an element of love...

Author Interview: Carl Purdon

Bio: Carl Purdon lives in Pontotoc, Mississippi with his wife and two of their four children. Pontotoc is halfway between Tupelo, which is the birthplace of Elvis, and Oxford, which was the home of William Faulkner. Since he can’t sing, he writes. Since he’s not an expert on anything in particular, he writes fiction. In February he released his debut novel, The Night Train, and has been pinching himself ever since. Website: http://carlpurdon.com Blog: http://carlpurdon.com Twitter ID: @CarlPurdon Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/carl.purdon Google+: https://plus.google.com/111294047512325782835/posts Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5194463.Carl_Purdon Welcome, Carl! Thanks for being here today. What is your genre? Why did you choose it? Purdon: To be perfectly honest with ...

Nice To Meet You

I am behind on my Twitter communications. …wait. What am I saying? I am behind on everything. Anyway, here I am, going through page after page of Twitter, looking for new friends, one bio at a time. I tried one of the highly recommended auto-follower programs for about two days six months ago, but I did not enjoy it. For me, the purpose of Twitter is to develop a community of “sometimes like-minded and sometimes not” people whose tweets, blogs, Facebook posts, and other social media I find interesting. There is so much to learn and, to my way of thinking, diversity is the first step in creating a balanced world. Auto-follow does not help me to accomplish that goal. It’s impersonal; and I don’t like impersonal. I’ll leave that to the spammers, numbers hunters, and SEO folks. If I’m fo...

Doers And Wimps

As part of my (painfully) slow going exploration of Facebook, I recently posted a poll on my author page. I figured I would get a feel for how the poll feature works, collect some usable information, compare that information to my publishing plan, and tweet about the whole thing. According to the weekly statistics email I received from Facebook yesterday, 153 people clicked into the poll. Two responded.  (Sigh.)  Everyone has to start somewhere. For example, for years, right up until the time I launched my first business, I thought archeologists were insane. What were they thinking digging in the dirt all day under the hot sun with bugs clinging to their sweaty skin? For weeks, months, even a year they focus on a tiny space, trying to understand everything that small patch of ground has to...

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